Can Cats Breathe Through Their Mouths? Here’s The Answer

The very first sight of your cat breathing through its mouth can seem like an abnormal behavior for you. You can get worried about this incident.

Since cats are such cute and lovable animals as pets, a deep attachment or connection unknowingly grows between them and the owner.

And if having a cat as a pet is a new experience for you, you will not know whether exhaling through the mouth is normal or not.

Cats often show other reactions that might seem close to mouth-breathing. So in this article, we have tried to provide you with information on whether the behavior is okay or not.

Can cats breathe through their mouths?

Breathing through the mouth is a frequent behavior your cats can show, but in a few cases, it is normal. The breathing of a cat should be smooth, effortless, and long. Just like human beings, the respiratory function of a cat performs through the nose.

Even if you are a novice in the world of these furry, four-legged animals, you surely have noticed all the natural behaviors of a cat. So you are pretty much aware that cats with sound health do not breathe through the mouth.

If your pet is acting the same, there is a high chance it is experiencing blocked nasal passages or anything severe than that.

Even after accurately taking care of your cat, you can witness this abnormal functioning in them. It can be related to dangerous health issues like allergies or asthma. So if your furry little friend is experiencing the same trouble, do not delay calling the vet.

Why is my cat breathing through his mouth? Is it normal? 

There can be numerous reasons that can lead your cat to start breathing through the mouth. While a few of these reasons are sound, others come out as serious.

If your cat is doing the same, there must be something wrong.

But sometimes, cats injure themselves and open their mouths out of pain.

But if you think the reason is not that simple, immediately head out for an emergency trip to your vet. Here we share some reasons that can cause your cat to start breathing through the mouth.

  • Cats often become prone to be allergic, particularly in late fall or early spring.
  • Vets or instructors always suggest regular exercises for cats. But the owner should remember, intense workout is not suitable for his cute fleecy friend, and it can result in breathing through the mouth.
  • Check out whether your cat is asthmatic or not.
  • The aging process can cause mouth respiration.
  • If the respiratory tract of this small animal gets infected, your cat needs to inhale through the mouth.

Among all these possible reasons, the last one is the most severe.

It is hard for the owner to identify a respiratory infection at early stages, and in most cases, the vet gets to see the cat when the situation is out of hand.

The severity of this problem is so high since respiratory infection spreads fast and the condition deteriorates within a short period.

But, other than the respiratory tract issue, others are very mild or common and easily treatable. When you are taking care of your four-legged friends from the kitten phase, you surely know whether your cat has asthma or not.

If your cat is asthmatic, keep regular contact with your vet and closely watch your pet. Regular monitoring can help you to avoid any unwanted turn of events. Whenever you feel any sign of a mild attack, do not neglect it.

Overplaying can tire the cats and cause them to breathe through the mouth, like us. So if you notice your cat is showing this behavior after playing for a long time, stop the playtime and allow them to sit and relax.

If they take more than enough time to gain normal breathing, there is something off in them. Often hydration can help them recover after a long playtime.

Some cats become allergic in specific seasons, like- spring or fall. Even though allergy is not a serious issue compared to respiratory problems, it is hard to reduce the allergic tendency.

If your cat is going through the same problem, do not let it spend time outdoors often.

The more time cats spend indoors, the lesser chance they get allergic.

The polluted air outside can also cause this problem.

An air filter can rescue both you and your pet from this situation. Install air filters indoors and wait for any improvement. If you see none within a specific period, contact your vet.

But if you feel none of this issue is responsible for the sudden mouth-breathing of your cat, then you are dealing with something more serious.

Apart from the reasons we have told you, there could be hundreds of causes responsible for the abnormal behavior of your cat.

It could be a dysfunctional respiratory system of your cat or a foreign obstacle damaging its throat.

Even an intense asthma attack can lead the cats to breathe through the mouth.

No matter what the problem is and how severe it is, contact your vet without any delay. Often pet owners try to self-diagnose the issues, and it makes the situation worse.

How do you know if your cat is having a breathing problem?

If you see your cat is breathing through the mouth, it can be a sign of breathing issues.

But it can also happen due to other reasons. If your cat is experiencing trouble breathing after a long playtime, then a few minutes later, its breathing rate will get normal. The reason would be a brief oxygen shortage.

But if you notice any weird behavior in the cat, like sudden immobility, cloudy eyes, and breathing through the mouth, your cat is having a breathing problem.

Respiratory problems can change the color of the gum and tongue. So if you notice an abnormal gray or blue color instead of a healthy pink, immediately contact the vet.

How to Treat Feline Dyspnea

Do not get panicked seeing the hard-to-pronounce name, as feline dyspnea is just a medical term for any breathing trouble of your cat. It is not a disease, only a symptom of many illnesses.

So to treat feline dyspnea, you need to go deep to find what is causing this trouble breathing.

If your cat is asthmatic, it can sometimes show this disorder. Vets often suggest hydrating them properly to manage feline dyspnea.

Air filters and customized toys also help to improve the condition.

Proper hydration support, elimination of allergenic fragrance or aromatic products, a healthy diet, and restricted exercise will help your cat recover from the sickness.

But if the trouble breathing continues for more than 10-15 minutes, it needs emergency treatment.

How can I help my cat breathe better?

If your cat has mild asthma, there is nothing more you can do to support their breathing.

You might already have a prescription with suggested medications. However, along with trusting your experienced vet blindly, you can try some other tips also to accelerate the recovery process.

You can do some pretty simple things for your fleecy little friend so that it can breathe smoothly.

But before going through the tips, remember these will not treat a severe medical condition. If your cat is having a hard time breathing, ask for medical treatment immediately.

1. Fragrance elevates allergic reactions.

There is a high chance your cat does not like the lavender-scented candle you have recently purchased.

Most of the fragrant products contain chemicals, excessive amounts of alcohol, and essential oils.

All these components can be tolerable for you but not for your cat. The potent ingredients can affect their kidneys, liver, lungs, and other organs.

Even if your cat has no allergic tendency, scented candles, essential oil diffusers can cause them trouble breathing. Oil could be especially toxic for cats.

So try to avoid all these products, no matter how much your room stinks from cat discharges.

If you still want to keep scented candles, try not to burn them for more than 5-10 minutes.

If you cannot live without scented products, try to keep your pet away from the aromatic zone as it can be toxic for pets.

If any contact with fragrant products causes abnormal fatigue or trouble breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

2. Air filters improve indoor air quality.

Cats prefer to stay in the fresh air. So if your cat is allergic to asthmatic, it will be wise to install an air filter indoors. Often indoor air also gets polluted due to poor air ventilation.

Since cats are sensitive to this condition, they can feel the poor air quality way before their owners.

Air filters escalate the air condition by cleaning it so that your cat can avoid allergens.

For intense breathing problems, purchase a filter with ultraviolet sterilization or HEPA filter. It can ease the respiration of the cat.

3. Hydration is the ultimate care for most illnesses.

There is an untold hostility between cats and water. Not only do they hate bathing, but also they tend to skip regular hydration schedules. Try to provide them with the required hydration, as water can help to recover breathing problems.

Also, remember they meet a significant part of their hydration through their diet.

So make a healthy diet chart with apt hydration. Make sure that your cat drinks only clean water and do not let them stay close to any source of polluted water.

Can cats breathe through their mouth if their nose is blocked?

Yes, cats can breathe through their mouth when they experience stuffy or clogged noses. Just like you, your snotty kitty also does not like to have a clogged nose. Along with experiencing disturbance while eating or sleeping, a blocked nose often causes trouble breathing.

Rhinitis or stuffy nose can lead your kitten to breathe through the mouth along with nasal discharge and sneezing.

Cats with blocked noses make a loud, abnormal sound when they breathe. Only breathing through the mouth provides them temporary relief in this condition.

Final thought

Generally, cats breathe through their noses and rarely do it through their mouths. Sometimes when they get exhausted, they respire through their mouths for additional oxygen. But it can also be a symptom of anything severe that will require medical attention.

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